“Inspired by oral histories of the ‘ol’ kawntree’ passed on by his Slovakian grandmother, Krivak, who once dreamed of a career in music and spent eight years in a Jesuit order, has crafted a novel of uncommon lyricism and moral ambiguity that balances the spare with the expansive. He juxtaposes the brutality of Jozef’s environment, both natural and human, during his childhood in the Carpathians and his military service on the Italian front and after with the beauty of mountain vistas and moments of love, sacrifice, and compassion between his finely drawn characters.”

The Chautauqua Prize committee

see more reviews hide reviews

“This [is a] splendid first novel that comes in under 200 pages, but tells a much larger story, a story—yes, let’s invoke Tolstoy—of war and peace….  Sharpshooter Jozef’s winter sojourn in the battle ravaged mountains of his homeland is truly a story that celebrates, in its stripped down but resonant fashion, the flow between creation and destruction we all call life.”

Dayton Literary Peace Prize judges’ citation

Andrew Krivak

Inspiring words from Andrew Krivak, author of The Sojourn, in his commencement address to St. John’s College graduates: “In a world of subject, we are not just subjects. We are stories, each of us an imagination.”

Over the Veterans Day weekend, Andrew Krivak accepted the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for The Sojourn and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Listen to him discuss the family history that inspired the novel with Robin Young on WBUR’s “Here and Now”

Andrew Krivak is the author of the award-winning debut novel, The Sojourn, which was a National Book Award finalist and recipient of both the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the inaugural Chautauqua Prize. The grandson of Slovak immigrants, Krivak grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, has lived in London, and now lives with his wife and three children in Massachusetts where he teaches in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program at Boston College.

Andrew 's Website

Andrew Krivak reads from The Sojourn at the National Book Awards